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February 15th, 2001



It’s official: I am a keyboard klutz.

About two weeks ago I was pouring tea at my desk at work. A few minutes later I realized I had left a small puddle of water on my desk. I cleaned it up and went about my day. At about 5 o’clock, though, I realized that my space bar was giving me two spaces every time I hit it, but then it stopped working all together. I couldn’t put a space between words without cutting and pasting a space from another document (talk about a pain!). I thought maybe there were some crumbs in the keyboard, so I turned it over to shake it out. Then the waterfall began. Apparently, I had gotten just as much (or more) water inside the keyboard than I did on the desk.

The next morning, I sent our IT department an e-mail: “Doyouhaveanextrakeyboard?Ispilledwateronmineandnolongerhaveafunctioningspacebar.” I was given a new keybord and chastised.

Then last week, the same scenerio presented itself: I spilled a bit of water on my desk. I decided to immediately turn my keyboard over and dump out any water that was inside it, before it could cause any major problems. I thought I had done so in time, as my keyboard worked well for a few hours. Then some more wackiness ensued.

Current result: When I press my up-arrow, it does the up-arrow and then the equivalent of hitting the “PrintScreen” key. When I press the down-arrow, it’s like pressing the down-arrow and then the CAPS LOCK key. If I cut some text and then use an arrow key before I paste it, I lose the text on the clipboard. And when I’m using the numeric keypad on the side, certain numbers will turn Num Lock on and off and others will turn CAPS LOCK on and off.

But I’m not about to ask for another keyboard. I just wanted everyone to be aware in case my e-mails started looking like they were WWI (Written While Inebriated). -ram

Posted in Technology

FROM: Robert
DATE: Thursday February 15, 2001 -- 8:51:47AM
Maybe you should go for the WWI angle. You might get a few weeks off to go to some tropical drying-out facility.

DATE: Thursday February 15, 2001 -- 9:13:19AM
Ask Yanek for a new keyboard, dammit. He's not going to hurt you (much).

FROM: Viren
DATE: Thursday February 15, 2001 -- 9:52:01AM
Or better yet...just steal one (switch it with...umm...Steve's)
Hours of amusement ensue.

Just don't try it with mine.

FROM: liz
DATE: Thursday February 15, 2001 -- 12:45:42PM
i spilled fresca and schnapps on this one. there hasn't been too much fallout yet.

FROM: Robert
DATE: Thursday February 15, 2001 -- 12:50:17PM
Ryan--This is the reason why computer labs don't let you bring in food or drinks. You should do your pouring in the kitchen area (hanging out there will allow you to kill lots of on-the-clock time having inane conversation with inane co-workers, as a bonus) or directly into your mouth so that all the overflow goes on the carpet.

FROM: Matt
DATE: Thursday February 15, 2001 -- 5:45:08PM
Yes Ryan,
Mistakes are made for us to learn from. While I won't chastise you I will say that you seem to be making the same mistake over and over. Maybe your fungschway(sp) is off

FROM: Tony
DATE: Thursday February 15, 2001 -- 8:17:50PM
I spilled Orange Cola (good part of a can) on my Powerbook 1400, Keyboard, and have had no problems.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday February 15, 2001 -- 11:19:04PM
Matt -- I'm pretty good at repeating my mistakes. :)

FROM: T.S. Murphy
DATE: Friday February 16, 2001 -- 12:38:50AM
The key to eating/drinking at a computer is to put the food _below_ the computer. It's much harder to drop a computer than a cup of liquid.

I destroyed about a dozen microprocessors at work in the past year, plus one very expensive server system, and, yes, a keyboard. On my performance review, for areas of improvement, I wrote something like 'Terry was careless in the lab, and caused tens of thousands of dollars of damage to valuable equipment', but my boss promptly crossed it out, believing it wasn't important. :-)

What's interesting is that different people always have particular computer problems. A lot of people always have hard drive failures. Or power supplies which constantly break down. Or broken processor fans. Or Ryan and his keyboards. But what always plagues me is monitors. I can't keep a monitor for more than a little while without it breaking down, or getting a horrible picture.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Friday February 16, 2001 -- 7:41:22AM
It's much harder to drop a computer than a cup of liquid.

I have dropped my keyboard twice. It's a Logitech wireless ergonomic, and I tend to use it in my lap. Twice when I've set it down on the desk, it's not been fully on the desk - and crashed to the ground. Surprisingly, it works just fine after the falls - and no keys popped off, or anything.

My monitor has a horrible picture, but it's had that since day one. :)

FROM: Robert
DATE: Friday February 16, 2001 -- 3:13:08PM
I can't keep a monitor for more than a little while without it breaking down, or getting a horrible picture.

I have that problem with mirrors--horrible, horrible pictures.

FROM: Brian
DATE: Wednesday June 6, 2001 -- 10:38:19PM
In college, a friend of mine's PowerPC keyboard succombed to a beer-baptism. In trying to save the keyboard, he unplugged it, pulled each of the keys off an swabbed out the beer, and let it dry. It was only after he was ready to put it back together, that he realized he didn't make note of the each key's location. He had to scour the dorm looking for a keyboard to use as reference. (This was before computers were standard-issue for every student.)

DATE: Saturday January 1, 2005 -- 3:09:41 pm

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